Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel Around Kyrgyzstan

AsiaKyrgyzstanHow To Travel Around Kyrgyzstan

Flights

Between Bishkek to Osh, there are many daily flights. Bishkek and Jalal-abad and Batken also have a few flights each week. Local airlines run the flights, which are flown using 30-40 year old Soviet aircraft. The technicians and pilots, on the other hand, are well-versed in how to operate these ancient monsters.

By train

Balykchy (on the western side of Issyk Kul) to Tokmok, then on to Bishkek, Karabalta, and the Kazakh border is the sole internal rail connection. The trains take at least twice as long as a cab, but they’re half the price, and you get to meet a lot of fascinating people, mainly retirees who need the 40-80 dollars they’d save by taking a minibus or taxi.

Buses and taxis

Within Kyrgyzstan, minibuses (marshrutkas) and shared taxis are the most popular and accessible modes of transportation. They’re very cheap and gather in the middle of every town or bus terminal. You may also book a private cab by buying all of the seats at the bus terminal or by calling a taxi company.

The rates for minibuses are fixed and clear, but they don’t usually depart until they’re completely filled, so you may find yourself carrying a kid on your lap. You will be given a fee for one seat in a shared cab, and if you have a lot of baggage, you should expect to pay for an additional or partial seat. You should haggle pricing, but you will almost certainly pay more as a foreigner than a native.

Biking

Long-distance bike journeys are common in Kyrgyzstan, especially in Issyk Kul and across the southern highlands to Tajikistan.

Hitchhiking

The idea of “free rides” isn’t well understood in our country. This is especially true if you are a foreigner. The majority of drivers will ask you to pay a modest fee for petrol. You may either attempt to explain why you don’t want to pay or use the Russian phrase Bez deneg. Alternatively, you may pay the whole amount.

You may always bargain if the driver is asking for too much money! As a general guideline, you should pay the same or less than you would for the bus.

Horseback

From the saddle of a horse, this is the most authentic way to view Kyrgyzstan. As the Kyrgyz are renowned riders going back to the days of Genghis Khan, there are many tourism companies that can help you make it happen. All Kyrgyz are believed to be born on a horse, but this seems to be less frequent as the country becomes more urbanized.

Driving

It is almost unheard of and not advised for tourists to hire a private vehicle and drive in Kyrgyzstan. The roads are in terrible condition, the police are crooked, car insurance is non-existent, and renting a cab is much too simple and inexpensive to make this a viable choice. Long-term foreign residents drive regularly, although many prefer to hire a driver.